Gary Winter

Gary Winter

Director at Ivy Gate
Gary is an operational Director for Ivy Gate. He is responsible for operations and strategy in the Ivy Gate group.
Gary Winter

I have had an unusually large amount of calls over the last couple of weeks from vendors in Borehamwood asking for advice on selling their homes and discussing the potential impact which Brexit is having. I am telling all of these vendors that whatever the outcome, there is always going to be a high demand for homes in the area, both to buy and to let, however, it is important that you are doing your best to maximise your chances of selling your home.

While the actual sale of your house may be mostly to do with its price and location there are a number of things you can do to make your house more appealing to buyers. Most buyers will say that they make their mind up on a house in the first few minutes. While this may or may not be true, it is certainly the case that first impressions count for a lot. Making the inside and outside of your property as appealing as possible will make a big difference.

Outside – The quickest thing you can do is get out there yourself and see the house as others will see it. How does it compare with others around it? What would you think if you were approaching it for the first time? Has the lawn been cut and is the garden generally well kept? Make sure you cut back any hedges and other foliage. Clean the windows and make sure surrounding paintwork is clean and not peeling.
No one wants to see the bin. Put it somewhere out of first sight and keep balls, toys, bikes and any other toys put away when not in use
Inside – First impressions inside are probably even more important. Make sure the first room the viewer enters is as light and airy as it can be. That might be a problem in an enclosed hall, but make sure the lightbulb has a good wattage and that walls are clean of scuffs and marks.
It should smell clean and fresh. We’ve known sellers go on baking frenzies to create aromas or those who buy copious scented candles.

Personal Effects – A contentious one this. One train of thought is that you should depersonalise your home. Remove photos, kid’s paintings and so forth. The logic here is that viewers want to picture themselves in the house and not have a preview of your life.
Contrary thinkers believe that it is important that viewers can see the house as a home. Images of a happy life and smiling faces can help make that the case.
Be sensible, if you’re a family with photo’s everywhere, perhaps it might make sense to clear some space to allow the house to shine. Not so many though that it looks stark and empty.

De-clutter – It’s almost certainly a good idea to de-clutter the house. Put things that should be away, away. Use the cupboards
and clear surfaces in kitchens for example. Keep ornaments and knick-knacks to a minimum but apply similar common sense as you would with photos.
With furniture, remove any ‘extra’ items that your house has accumulated. You’re looking for a good balance. You want a tidy, functional home but at the same time, you should be seeking to create space and make the house as spacious as possible.

Clean – Sorry, there are no short cuts here. The place has to look clean and tidy. This isn’t just the obvious about moving the dirty breakfast crockery either, it’s about making the place shine.
You, your family and other animals! -You might be the nicest people on the planet, but for most buyers, looking at other people’s houses can be intimidating at the best of times. Having you looking over their shoulder or leading them from room to room won’t allow them to view the property at their own pace. You should always have an estate agent do the viewings for you. This allows buyers to be honest with their feedback without worrying about offending you.

Pet’s need to go for a walk. You might strike lucky with the king and queen of animal lovers. Equally you might have someone who thinks fleabag, animal hair and smell!
For more advice, or for a free market valuation please contact me on 0208 213 3200.

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